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Synchronicities and Chinese Conceptualism: The World of the Black, White, and Grey Cover Books (1994-1997)

  • Author(s): Chan, Felix
  • Advisor(s): Lee, Hui-shu
  • et al.
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This paper examines three book-objects that have exerted an indelible impact on the emergence of contemporary art practice in China. Published between 1994–97, the Black, White, and Grey Cover Books are most commonly known as the first independent, artist-run books of contemporary art (dangdai yishu) in China post-1989. Beyond considering their archival status and examining the books through a framework of dual “synchronicities,” this paper traces how the BWG Cover Books simultaneously created both a novel physical anthology of Chinese contemporary art, as well as a real and imagined community of nomadic practitioners. In simultaneously producing and archiving ephemeral, concept-based artworks and performances, the BWG Cover Books and their collaborators formed a distinct, conceptualist, and contemporary trajectory within the history of Chinese art.

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This item is under embargo until June 11, 2023.